Virginia State University is grappling with the aftermath of a shooting incident that occurred early Sunday near a campus residence hall. Officer Bruce Foster, who was critically injured in the shooting, has been upgraded to stable condition after being admitted to VCU Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.
As the campus resumed classes on Monday, the university community showed resilience amidst the shock. A video screen on the entrance road to the campus displayed a message urging the public to pray for Officer Foster. His fellow officers, deeply affected by the event, shared their reactions. Officer Francis Stevens described the close-knit nature of their 25-member police force and 40-person support staff, underscoring their strong bond with the student body. Stevens highlighted the motivation derived from witnessing students’ academic achievements and the role of officers as mentors.
Officer Robert Sheppard shared the limited information available about the shooting, as the Chesterfield County police have sought public assistance in the investigation. He also reflected on the varying dynamics between the police force and the students.
VSU President Makola Abdullah issued a statement condemning the shooting as a “cowardly and senseless act” and reassured students of the university’s commitment to bringing the shooter to justice. Abdullah encouraged students to cooperate with the ongoing investigation, led by detectives from the Chesterfield Police Department. As of Monday afternoon, no suspect had been identified.
President Abdullah also announced that officers from neighboring jurisdictions would assist in providing round-the-clock surveillance on campus for the remainder of the semester, which concludes on December 17.
The university community remains united in support of Officer Foster and his family, including his wife and four children. Despite the lack of details about the shooting and the ongoing search for the suspect, students returned to their routines, demonstrating the campus’s resilience.
The incident occurred on Boisseau Street, near a dormitory and modular annexes added to address a housing shortage. Officer Foster was responding to a dispute around 1:30 a.m. when he was shot. VSU spokeswoman Gwen Williams Dandridge expressed the university’s gratitude for Foster’s recovery and termed the event as a tragedy for the campus community.
The shooting temporarily led to a lockdown on Sunday, but normal activities resumed later in the day, with classes continuing on Monday. The university remains vigilant as the investigation progresses.